Thursday, March 04, 2010

PM's Office Push Land Reforms

Fiji Live - 04 March 2010

The Fiji’s government is going ahead with planned land reforms, setting up a committee to be headed by the permanent secretary to the Prime Minister’s Office to carry out the exercise.

The committee will identify all land available for leasing, in particular those currently lying idle, and identify the terms and conditions that would be acceptable to both landowners and tenants including rental amounts, a government statement said.

It will also identify the best legal model or process to be adopted to facilitate this new arrangement, hire consultants including land valuers from the private sector and/or academia and undertake an extensive public relations exercise on the proposed changes.

Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama said land reforms are one of government’s major initiatives.

“Land reform, of Native and State title, is essential to make it available for productive use and thereby increasing economic activity, improving livelihoods and growing our GDP,” Bainimarama said.

He emphasised however that as part of his land reform agenda, the existing landownership of State and native titled land would not be altered and that the reform must ensure a fair return to indigenous landowners and security and longevity of tenure to tenants.

Comment by Suliasi Daunitutu posted on

Everything that Bainimarama is doing is consistent with the dismantlling of the Fijiam structure. The BLV, the Lotu, the SDL government, and now the piece de resistance, the Land. Unfortunately it is being done by a Taukei in the name of racial reform and getting rid of corrupt practises in the government.

That seem to imply that the Fijians are the cause of all these misbehaviours that past governments are being blamed for. The Fijian landowners who have never been able to show too much power over their land have also been victimised in these concocted devious ideas Voreqe and his advisors are bringing to the fore.

His trips around the country trying to appease the landowners proves that he is trying to set a platform for the introduction of these land reforms. The gullible landowners can be hit hard by these reforms if they are not careful. The 99 years lease will find a few generations of Fijians, not being able to enjoy their land and its security except for the two payments a year they will get. That is not security for the landowner, that is revenue raising for this poor government.

Their argument of land lying idle is all a confused explanation of trying to take the land and give it to some Chinese people who want to start an ethanol plant, a load of rubbish. The Fijians are well educated and are already starting their own businesses using their biggest asset, their land. They don't need someone who has no land to come and tell them how to manage theirs.

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